If you follow this blog you know I show you exactly what is in my closet every season. A Capsule Wardrobe is just a fancy name for organizing what you are going to wear for the next few months and making sure all your clothes work hard for you.
I put together my personal ‘recipe’ for creating a capsule wardrobe which I follow every season.
As Autumn has definitely set in now in England with a variety of sunny, wet, and misty mornings that keep us guessing every day, here’s my Fall 2023 capsule wardrobe.
For the full list of items in my 2023 Fall Capsule Wardrobe scroll down to the end.
A wardrobe based on layers
Layering allows for weather changes and gives lots and lots of different outfits from just a few tops and bottoms.
They can be slouchy and fun. They can be neat and refined. They can be smart combos of shirt and jacket. They can be youthful layer upon layer of sweaters.
I added a white tee and a black vest to ‘anchor’ the black and white check pants, then all the other layers will look right.
A wardrobe for my lifestyle
The clothes I put together are based on where I am living and what I am doing.
My lifestyle determines what styles will work hard for me. Right now I am living in the centre of a small city, enjoying shopping, sometimes going to restaurants with family or friends, helping with my daughter’s first baby several days a week and going for town and country walks with my dog.
Because I’m in a city you will find I have chosen slightly smarter clothes this season. Previously I have been staying mainly in the countryside where very casual outfits are useful. Then when Fall arrives I am often on the French Riviera where, out of season, the vibe is more stylish but still casual.
A wardrobe for my figure
After weather and lifestyle, a capsule depends on your figure.
I’m short and square – 62 inches and 140 pounds. I have a prominent mid-section and, expecially since lifting my granddaughter so often, I have swollen ankles.
So there are lots of styles I would love to wear but I simply never buy them because they would not suit my figure.
A wardrobe for my budget
Last Fall I didn’t buy any new items, instead wearing clothes I already had, plus a lot of charity shop buys.
This year I have a bit more budget and as I now live a three minute walk from one of the largest Marks and Spencer stores in England, I’ve purchased lots of new items, mainly from here. I usually buy online at marksandspencer.com so it’s been fun actually trying things on instead.
Marks and Spencer (M&S) is a mid-price retail chain beloved by everyone in the UK. It sells across the world so click into the US site if you’re in America and you’ll find import taxes are included.
I’ve included some items I bought for my French Chic wardrobe in the Spring but restyled them so they work with my Fall colors.
Choosing a Fall color
After wearing so much navy over the last few years I decided to update my sweater selection with shades of brown. Chocolate brown is a fashionable color this Fall so there were some good choices available.
I especially like my new brown leather tote. Perfect for all the bits and pieces I need when taking my grand-daughter out for the afternoon.
To lighten this base color I’ve gone for all shades of cream and ivory. And I’m still enjoying my little cross-body bag in tan I bought a while back. Price per wear must be in the pennies by now!
As my special color I’ve gone for green. Mainly because I found a bright green boucle lady jacket after much searching for this style. This is very on-trend today, the cut, the blingy buttons and the boucle. It gives a lift to the whole look.
Once I’ve decided on my colors for the season I start by grouping together everything I already have in that range. Obviously I only collect up items that are appropriate for the weather.
I try not to use too many items I wore for my last year’s Fall capsule. Boring for you and boring for me!
Once I have a few nice items laid out on my bed I note down new clothes that will fill gaps and/or update the outfits for 2023.
Then I go shopping.
Updating my wardrobe for 2023
My biggest update is the collarless boucle jacket I mentioned above.
My other main update is the pair of thick wide cord pants. I liked wearing my navy cords this summer, which I cropped well above the ankle. Now I have the confidence to go for the full length slouchy ones. In the popular shade of chocolate.
I love wearing jeans all year. It’s worth trying on the ‘latest’ styles even if they look remarkably similiar to that pair I already wear. Because small subtle changes can mean a better fit or at least, an on-trend look. This year I bought ‘The Sienna’ at M&S after reading so much about them. They fit tighter round the hips than I usually wear (or is it just that tummy?) and the legs hang neither too skinny nor too wide.
I also updated my shoe collection. Cream sneakers lose their looks after a year so I went for a cheaper M&S version, but still leather. I’ll be interested to see if they wear better than my Nikes.
The black trainers are to tie in with the black and white check pants. Not sure how much I like them. They look a bit huge and heavy in the photos.
I love the new tasselled loafers that are in the shops this Autumn. I couldn’t get them in dark brown so bought the black. ‘Sensible shoes, sensible color’ as my mother would say.
I like to have just a few items ready that I can pop on without hunting through a mass of scarves, belts and jewellery.
As many of the clothes are near to the color of my complexion this season I had to ensure I had a few neck scarves that would highlight the change from top to face – otherwise I risk looking pasty-faced. (And that’s so easy at my age!)
A note about the dress
This year we are seeing summer dresses continue right into the colder months. But they are being worn with thick sweaters. This style has developed over the years from outdoor summer festivals where, here in England anyway, you have to be prepared to wade through mud in your wellies and bundle on the sweaters once the sun goes down.
The wellies are now optional – sneakers are worn instead – and the sweater with pretty frock is now mainstream. (As indeed are evening skirts with a big sweater too.)
Looking for green, I saw this cotton dress I bought for summer and decided I’d try out the look. Does it work? Not sure really.
My capsule wardrobe list for Autumn 2023
Links in the image matrix are to the M&S and Mango UK site and then at the end you will get the US links in that second matrix. If you click and buy then I usually get a small commission at no cost to you. (Thanks!)
You can find links to all the La Redoute items in this post: How to get French Chic Style
- M&S mid wash straight Sienna jeans
- Black and white check pencil pants bought in Spring from La Redoute – a large mid-price fashion and home online French retailer.
- M&S chocolate brown wide corduroy pants.
Tops and layers:
- M&S white cotton tee.
- M&S black sleeveless vest.
- Boden ivory cashmere mock neck sweater. Boden is a British online-only fashion retailer with a growing presence in the US. Bought 2 years ago.
- M&S cappuccino polyester and wool sweater with collar.
- La Redoute ginger cashmere sweater. Bought in Spring.
- M&S cream knitted gilet. Bought a year ago. No longer available.
- M&S cream silk shirt. Bought several years ago.
- Jigsaw (UK only) brown and cream striped shirt.
- Phase Eight green striped cotton midi dress. Phase Eight is a mid and upwards priced fashion retailer found on many UK high streets and of course online everywhere.
- Mango green boucle collarless jacket. Mango is a Spanish fast-fashion online and offline retailer.
- La Redoute ivory trench coat. Bought in Spring.
- M&S black patent tassel bow loafers.
- M&S ivory and tan leather sneakers.
- M&S black and animal print sneakers.La Redoute black loafers. Bought in Spring.
- La Redoute brown broad leather belt. Bought in Spring.
- Thin black leather belt (can’t remember where I got it or when!)
- Medium plaited tan belt (these come free with lots of trousers these days).
- La Redoute cream spotted ‘silk’ scarf. Bought in Spring.
- La Redoute green and brown ‘silk’ scarf. Bought in Spring.
- Brown small silk scarf (I’ve been wearing it on and off for decades!)
- Brown animal print bucket hat.
- M&S chocolate brown tote bag. (I couldn’t find this on the US site.)
- M&S cross-body bag. Bought a couple of years ago.
- Various ‘gold’ chains and ‘pearls’ I’ve collected over the years.
You can look back at my other Fall capsules here: